Processing: B&W or Color

by Christopher Foltz

This is a common dilemma for myself. There have been numerous times I have been sitting here, looking at two edits of the same capture, trying to decide if I should go with a color version, or a black and white. To me black and white is more dramatic, but does it fit what I am going for? Does it fit the shot? Probably the most important, does it gain or lose anything due to the conversion?

Here is one or my latest shots. This is of the Agora Statues in Grant Park. Agora is a greek word for “meeting place.” There are 106 of these headless, walking statues, each standing 9 ft tall and weighing in at a whopping 1100 lbs. The artist of this installation is Magdalena Abakanowicz.


A strong black and white image, in my opinion. Here is the colorized version:

This one, it seems simple which way to go, at least personally, I think you loose something in the colored version.

But what about something like this:


Or This:

After Effects

Which would you choose?

I love black and white images, I think they are strong and say a lot. The simplicity of them with the high contrast gives such a dramatic view to the world around us.

What are your thoughts on this? How do you decide which way, or do you know before you hit the shutter what you want to do with the image?